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Angkor Wat Visit, AV #7
Last week we visited Angkor Wat in Cambodia, marking our 6th AbsoluteVisit on our journey to see the top 100 places in the world! We spent three days exploring the temples, waking up at 4am every morning to beat the tourists and capture all of the magic at sunrise. The infamous Angkor heat and the early starts really wore us down towards the end, but I think we were able to capture some amazing stuff before our eventual collapse on the bus ride back to Bangkok.
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AV Trip Photo – Sleeping Stone Giant – Bayon Temple – Siem Reap, CambodiaWhy is Bayon our favorite temple to hang out at when visiting The Temples of Angkor? Easy. There are 216 of these massive stone faces, each taller than my six foot frame. Can you imagine hanging out in the 5am darkness with these guys looking over your shoulder? On our recent visit there were even bats precariously zooming past our heads as we set our tripods up awaiting the sun.
Do you agree that Bayon is the coolest temple to walk around at Angkor? If not, what temple moves you the most?
AV Trip Photo – Angkor Wat Stone Battle – Siem Reap, CambodiaYesterday I published a photo highlighting the incredible detail on the walls of Angkor Wat. In order to get across how cool these stone engravings are, I wanted to share another picture of inside Angkor Wat today.
This fighting scene is part of a massively long wall that contains a beautiful story of ancient times. The engravings are so detailed and numerous that I’d have to imagine a translation of the events to paper would fill hundreds of pages in a book!
Does anyone have any cool “detailed” pictures from their own Angkor Wat visit? You should be able to attach them to a comment. I’d love to see them
AV Trip Photo – Angkor Wat Feelings – Siem Reap, CambodiaAngkor Wat, part of The Temples of Angkor, is the largest religious building in the world. Visitors to the temple are immediately blown away at the sheer size of this architectural masterpiece. The outer walls are an incredible 2.2 miles in length!
What most visitors are not aware of prior to their visit, is the exquisite detail that is carved into every wall and pilar within the temple. Once you get close to the stone and observe this with your own eyes, your focus will quickly shift from the grandeur of Angkor Wat to its intricate detail. It’s this detail that cements Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples as one of the Top 10 Places in the world to visit!
Photo of the Day – Children of Angkor – Temples of Angkor – Siem Reap, CambodiaWhile exploring the temples at Angkor you will interact with a countless number of beautiful and playful young girls who will befriend you – in a somehow not at all bothersome way – in hopes that you will give them some money in exchange for simple crafts that they are carrying around. The girls are full of smiles and are very fun to play little games with (like how many languages can you say hello in – warning: you have no chance at winning). Strangely, people who at first you think would be a distraction from the sites, turn out to be a highlight by the end of your trip.
Several days after I left Siem Reap I came across this picture on my memory card. The girl’s serious faces were very different than I remembered. They carried a depth to them that led me to think about what it must be like to grow up one generation removed from a horrific genocide that ripped their country apart. That is a life that I can not even imagine.
The young children of Angkor serve as a constant reminder to me that no matter how tough your situation might be, you can always put a smile on your face and enjoy every minute of wherever you find yourself.
Photo of the Day – Hallway back to the Future – Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, CambodiaEvery time I look at this photo it reminds me of those 3D prints where if you stare at them long enough something pops out – remember? But, its not. Instead it is one of the main hallways through the labyrinth of rooms, courtyards, and pools that make up the internals of Angkor Wat.
Keep in mind that this hallway was built and hand carved in the 9th Century CE. Can you imagine building this with nothing but a hammer (a stone) and chisel (another stone)? How did they make this hallway so perfectly straight?
And lastly, how many columns do you see?
Photo of the Day – The Backside of Angkor Wat – Siem Reap, CambodiaThe backside of Angkor Wat is often missed due to its iconic front entry including the perfect reflection pool. Yes, the front is incredible, but in some regards the rear of Angkor Wat is even more special. How many people have actually seen the back of Angkor Wat?
If you look closely you’ll see a Buddhist monk, a scooter, and other than that, nothing. And that is the point! It is unreal how few people there were on the backside versus the front. This is a simple reminder to make sure you explore all of these incredibly iconic places from head to toe and front to back.